ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Experts say the U.S. population is rapidly aging, and by the year 2034, the number of adults aged 65 and over will be greater than the number of children under 18 for the first time ever.

In Macedon this afternoon, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand hosted a conference highlighting her five-point master plan to help folks in our area who are seniors — and who will pass the age 65 threshold down the line.

Gillibrand’s plan includes 15 different bills currently making their way through — with the overall goal of ensuring every American can age with dignity and financial security. This plan, according to Senator Gillibrand’s office, will ensure older Americans have the right to the following: affordable meals, health care, social security benefits, age-in-place, and aging-friendly spaces and employment.

Additionally, she wants to increase food pantries to expand great food security. She’s also calling for more home health aides, and to increase their pay. A part of this plan includes making communities more accessible for older folks with better crosswalks and things of that nature.

Additionally, Gillibrand wants to put a stop to age discrimination in the workplace — which is a bipartisan effort now with Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC).

Of course, a lot of these goals depend on if she is successful in getting support from fellow lawmakers and constituents. 

“In terms of implementation, what I just discussed is about 15 different bills, so it’s very diverse — every bill will have its own timeline,” Gillibrand said. “For example, getting us to allow Medicare to buy all their drugs in bulk, I would suspect we’ll have to flip the house to do that. It’s more of a Democratic idea than a bipartisan idea, and so that would take two years at least to even get a vote on that bill. But it’s an ambition and it’s a really good ambition and that’s why I’m fighting for it. Something like the food security, it’s all in the farm bill. The farm bill will be done by next year, the money will be able to flow by the end of next year.”

There was no word on how much all of this would cost taxpayers– or if this will impact them.

This was held at the Macedon Library — a place that just started its own food shed to help senior citizens. The initiative is a grassroots way of fighting senior food insecurity, with local donations.

Other speakers at the library included the Macedon Town Supervisor, the Wayne County Department for Aging and Youth, and the Director of the library, Stacey Wicksall.